ISLAMABAD - India’s Sachika Kumar stunned local Zoya Khalid to lift the Bahria Town International Women Squash Championship title here at Safari Club; Safari Villas I Bahria Town squash courts on Monday.
Zoya never looked in the match despite twice taking comfortable lead in the second and third games. She settled down well in the first game and took a 5-1 lead but all of a sudden, she blew away the lead as Sachicka first leveled the game 5-5 and then won it 11-5. Zoya once again raced onto take 5-1 lead in the second game but Sachicka bounced back and first leveled the game 5-5 and then won it 11-6. In the third game, Zoya once again raced onto 5-1 lead, but Sachicka again won next seven points in a row to take 8-5 lead. Zoya then showed glimpses of her game and leveled the game 9-9 but Sachicka managed to take next two points to win the game 11-9 thus won the maiden WSA title of her career.
Speaking at the occasion, Zoya said: “I was under pressure to deliver which cost me dearly. Crowd was very supportive, but I failed to live up to their expectations. I promise I will bounce back and I also congratulate Sachicka on her victory.”
Sachicka thanked the PSF, organisers and especially crowd for all the support. “I have made a few new friends in Pakistan and I will soon come back and play more tournaments here.”
Bahria Town VP Commodore M Ilyas and PSF SVP Air Vice Marshal Syed Razi Nawab were the chief guests while PSF secretary Group Captain Amir Nawaz, head coach Jamshed Gul, chief referee Fahim Gul and others were also present there. Sachicka was given a beautiful trophy and a cash prize of $760, while Zoya was awarded runners-up trophy and a cash prize of $520. The quarterfinalists and semifinalists were also given cash prizes.
Meanwhile, Kumar Renu, proud mother of Sachicka, thanked people of Pakistan especially Bahria Town administration for such a wonderful hospitality.
Renu said: “I could not even have dreamed about such a wonderful experience. People were trying to scare us and advised us against visiting Pakistan, but I am very glad that we have decided against all the odds and traveled to Pakistan.”
“There were a lot of misperceptions about Pakistan but this country is very beautiful and people here are so loving and caring. I am sending my daughter to Pakistan for training purposes as PSF has extended all the facilities for my daughter and that too free of cost. Pakistan had produced a number of world champions in squash and I want to take advantage from their experiences,” she added.
“Sachicka will train under guidance of Jamshed Gul and I am sure she will learn a lot about squash,” Renu concluded.
Sri Lankan Fathoum Issadin said: “I can't describe my feelings in words. It was a wonderful learning experience for me and I felt as I am at my home. I am coming back here to get training under coach Jamshed Gul.”